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06.03.2018 | Альбина Весина

Social networks: a lifeline or a millstone?

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The growing demand for bloggers and promotion in SM, as well as the development of social networks themselves aimed at the development of commercial services, confirm that the demand for networks will continue to grow. "For example, SnapChat and Viber are launching platforms for e-commerce, Vkontakte announced the launch of services that allow ordering taxis and movie tickets, as well as creating a single catalog of goods, and Facebook launched a platform for shopping bots in Messenger," lists Anastasia Burak. Confirmation of the great future of social networks as marketplaces is the grandiose success of WeChat, a Chinese platform with a turnover of about $ 2 million. WeChat has united 10 million Chinese companies and almost 1 billion users. The main criteria for success, users called the convenience of the interface – it's all in one: the ability to watch and publish content, discuss it with friends, immediately communicate with sales companies, choose and pay for goods in the WePay system with a security guarantee, etc. Thus, WeChat combined emotional engagement with commercial services. Probably, this is the future of all e-commerce. It is most likely that retail will be successful, which will be able to combine all channels into an omnichannel experience, maintaining all points of interaction with customers at the proper level, providing emotional involvement, quick response, seamless transition between channels and personalization.




Experts insist that the requirements for the service component when promoting and selling online are a priori higher than in a "regular" store (in particular, the customer's perception of the brand or store is affected at a distance of one click). But SMM projects of Russian brands are most often called "terrible" by buyers in reviews. Analysts consider their poor quality to be the main brake on development. "Among the key mistakes when working with social media are the lack of a strategy when choosing a channel, low or unstable quality of content, an excess of publications, insufficiently prompt answers to consumer questions, weak moderation of reviews, lack of personalization or its irrelevance," lists Victoria Kravchik from JLL.


Konstantin Anisimov supports: often the brand manager himself does not know why he needs all this, and opens channels in social networks only to be like everyone else. – Another mistake – separation of offline from online, when there is one thing in life, and on the net is completely different. It may be the wrong price for a thing, too pretentious advertising, etc. Usually negative comments bring the community back to reality. The reverse history – standards «Tinkoff Bank » and «Alfa-Bank » in social networks and new media. Here they communicate with people online and do it not officiously, but in a friendly and humorous way. This is an excellent indicator of a high level here in Russia."


One of the most active Russian companies in social networks is Nordwestfur, a manufacturer of jackets and pairs from Veliky Novgorod, and its founder Igor Frolov. "Now, at last, there is a clear understanding that it is not necessary to sell only through a physical store, and as the current youth becomes more and more solvent, sales through social networks will become the main sales channel, and physical stores will turn into showrooms at most," predicts Mr. Frolov. Instagram Facebook, and ending with those who are formally represented on social networks and do not interact with subscribers in any way, the level of ownership of the audience in social networks of brands, retailers and shopping centers is still too different.. Someone perceives social networks as a direct channel of communication with customers, someone – as an addition to the site where you can post news. We are arranged in such a way that we want and love to communicate, this is our need. The buyer, collecting information about the product, can communicate directly with the seller through social networks, ask their questions and eliminate doubts. As a result, buyers begin to consciously wait for such communication with the seller or brand while searching for the right thing. Accordingly, if I can communicate directly, then there is much more trust in my product.


According to Igor Frolov, it is social networks that help his company to tell much more and "warmer" about its product, which as a result leads to ordering goods on the site. This is what most clothing brands do. For example, the manufacturer of Canada Goose down jackets in social networks talks about the conditions in which their down jackets are operated. "This is similar to our concept," we also show our parkas and jackets in social networks in the natural habitat," explains Igor Frolov. In general, brands need to learn how to use the main function of social networks - communication, interaction and involvement of visitors through unique and beautiful photos, interesting stories or humor. Technically, Russia has had everything necessary for these tools to work for a long time: it is not difficult to respond to requests from clients, it is not difficult to proactively contact the client in case of problems and tell him about the problem with delivery or something else, without waiting for a call, and so on. But often everything rests on people who either have not received the necessary instructions, or do not have the motivation to interact with the client so that, even in the event of a problem, he does not feel abandoned. This is really important, since an online person, in fact, buys something that he did not even hold in his hands, and in this case, trust should be especially valued. Nevertheless, over time, social networks will become the main channel of sales and communication with customers, regardless of the place of residence or the tastes of local clothing store owners. It is there that you can buy any thing you like, which will outweigh all the inconveniences. However, in the future, I am sure they will come up with solutions that will make online shopping even simpler and more reliable.


Author: Ekaterina Reutskaya

Photo: shutterstock